Day Forty Seven - 23 Jan 2011

Lunar Festival

Kallixta is not supposed to be about achievements, but doing things I haven't done before. Still, my current mode is all about leveling quickly and seeing an easy quest confused me. So I did an elder and had the Coin of Ancestry achievement surprise me!

Blasted Lands

I like the changes in the Blasted Lands. I felt there was too much grind before and I like how the new quest storyline works. I also like the use of many new "mini-boss" mobs that have names yet aren't full elites. There's enough trepidation before the fight and accomplishment after. I'm not sure how much of that pleasure is dependent upon my running a protection paladin. Would these be as fun as a fragile mage?

The big moment in this zone came with the completion of the Razelikh quest chain. First, I hadn't read the text carefully enough, so after killing the body, I didn't realize I needed to use the knife to seal the soul. Instead I fought the mob down to zero, yet he didn't go away. Eventually the quest failed and I was stuck on top of the Rise of the Defiler without a means to teleport down. I'd recently used by hearthstone, so decided I'd just jump.

I thought I'd found the best place to jump, and in one sense I did. After all, I survived. Still, I was shocked at seeing the Going Down? message pop up! Everything went correctly on my second try, although this time I actually read the quest text and consulted with wowhead for comments. They mentioned that things had changed so if the boss tossed you off the Rise, your buddy cast a spell that saved you from the big fall. I had killed him too quickly before and had never been tossed on my first try. This time he tossed me twice!

I dinged level 58 with only 28 / 35 Blasted Lands Quests. I could have finished up with zone's quests, but both of today's achievements reminded me that's not my objective. I had the satisfaction of completing the big story line and earning the Band of Noble Deeds for myself. That was the last rare I got from the LFD and everything I wear now are quest rewards or crafted. Since I'm at least 16 levels higher now than when I ran a random dungeon, it shows the sacrifice. Do you want quick XP or great items? Anybody else notice this difference?

I allowed myself the chance to enjoy running up the stairs and walking through the Dark Portal, committing myself to the Outland. I don't remember it as being that special when it happened for Martuska. Her hearthstone was already saved to Shattrath before that. One of those consequences of the loss of convenient portals was to make this moment a bit more special for me. So the next time you bitterly grumble about paying for a mage portal, here's something to think about.

Hellfire Peninsula

The contrast in quest design shows up right away. The Outland was not redesigned for good quest hubs and storylines. I was soon running to a quest hub west of Honor Hold yet needing to run east of Honor Hold to accomplish them. In fact, I was riding a LOT and deeply regreting arriving out here before level 60 and the joy of flying mounts. I didn't particularly notice the lack of flight on Kallixta while in Azeroth, because the game design was geared for it. Once in the Outland, the difference was obvious and I'm unhappy. Luckily XP still drops quickly enough and I anticipate level 60 on my next session, which might not be until next weekend.

One last thing that happened before finishing up was that I hit 500 Quests. All three of the achievements today caught me by surprise. I think that's unusual.

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